New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!
Doomsday.1 No. 1
When comic book legend John Byrne first delved into dramatic comics he released a full-color comic called Doomsday +1. That was back in the seventies, and it was about a few survivors of a Cold War apocalypse surfing in a fantastical world. Now Byrne's released Doomsday.1 (pronounced Doomsday Point One) as a way to revisit his early story. But this time there's nothing fantastical or Cold War about the comic. This comic features a group of scientists who orbited earth as a giant solar flare burned the whole planet to a crisp! Now they return to Earth to see what's left.
Bag it or board it up? If you're a fan of Byrne you're going to love this comic. It is, once again, classically in Byrne's style. It has that plain, open-handed illustration that Byrne is famous for. Everything looks so blatant, nothing is hidden from the reader. Even the devastation is done with grace and restraint, which is rare in this genre. Check it out!
Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher No. 1
Another famous name in classic comics debuted a work this week. Richard Corben, a timeless name in indie comics, released the first issue of his adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher. The story combines a few of Poe's works, and this time features a crazed painter in his home, painting and painting his sister's portrait until it is perfect as a visitor to the house tries to make sense of the madness that's seeped in.
Bag it or board it up? Wow. this is a masterfully crafted comic book. No creator draws characters the way Corben draws them. Those big heads and heavy hands and knuckles, the way he illustrates the body and anatomy, it's all unsettling and perfectly suited to a horror comic. This is an experience, not just a comic.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic No. 7
The ponies are in trouble in pony-land (or whatever). Rarity, a cool bad-ass pony, has been possessed by an evil spirit. Now that spirit is waging a war against the ponies and using her army of ghostly monsters to fight for her. The ponies are beaten, entangled, and thrown in a dank dungeon where creepy little creatures crawl all around the floors! This is as horror as My Little Pony gets, and it's a fun one for the kids in your haunted house.
Bag it or board it up? I'm gonna get in trouble for reviewing this one, but this is grade-A children's horror. This is Aesop's Fables or Brothers Grimm-style horror. Kids want to see their heroes in trouble sometimes. It's why we horror fans even exist, because as kids the Ninja Turtles got their asses handed to them, and because David the Gnome almost always got smushed! Even watching Looney Tunes, though chaotic, the series was filled with heroes getting hurt, captured, and tricked. This comic has that in spades, and that dark cover and heavy tones really lend a new, interesting filter to this children's comic!
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth No. 107
All's gone to hell in the world of Hellboy. With Hellboy hanging out in hell the Bureau is now on the case, with Johann heading up a squad that's en route to Chicago. But monsters are popping up out of the ground, and while heading there via helicopter the group encounters a giant beast. The spore-like creature opens its maw and unleashes a nasty red gas that turns anyone who breaths it into a zombie-esque deformed freak. And the group's helicopter crashes. And they're days away from Chicago by foot. Awesome.
Bag it or board it up? I love comics with this plot line. The "s**t, we're screwed" plot line of devastation and disaster movies still strikes a chord with me. My only complaint with Hell on Earth is that sometimes the issues feel short. But there's so much content coming out every week for this series that it's a) justifiable and b) not a huge deal, because we're constantly getting more, more, more. I really hope you're following along with the series. It's just so damned good.